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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this forum!! You rock.

I tried searching for the answer but couldn't really find the answer I needed. I have a 10 week old Male Lab who is a learning freak!! At 7 weeks I had him on Sit and Down (Lie Down) hand signals. Most recently I taught him the "leave it" command utilizing the jackpot treat method. He was introduced to duck wings at 7 weeks as well and goes nuts over them.

I never had to hallway train him on retrieves. He delivers them to hand at any distance, but the "release" command has been a challenge. We are working through that though.

On to my question. I may have jacked up his training a little, but I need you to reassure me that I didn't. I introduced him to Live Pigeons 3 times so far. The 1st time he barked and ran. I thought "Oh $h!t". So I laid off of them for 2 weeks. I recently re-introduced him to them twice (Saturday and Monday). The pup is NUTS over the live birds. Chasing them, pouncing them, picks them up but doesn't retrieve them to me. But from I have read this is OK at 1st. But my real concern is should I have started him on dead birds? I figured the wings might have been the same, I just now fear it may have reverse effects.

I ordered both Smartworks and Hillmanns Puppy DVD's. Should I be in fear?

Thanks all!!
 

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If my pup, would take him off birds completely.
Use bumpers
 

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...The pup is NUTS over the live birds. Chasing them, pouncing them, picks them up but doesn't retrieve them to me....!!

pull on the lite rope you have him on and reel him in.
do not worry if he drops the bird, reel him in.
coming to you should be the best thing ever
and if he very much loves birds, he will hang onto them.
I would not use them a lot, at this time. But would use um.



.
 

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..... He delivers them to hand at any distance, but the "release" command has been a challenge....!!
do not grab the item, bird or bumper, first.
avoid playing "tug of war" with the retrieving items.
grab the pup at the collar, pet the pup,
praise the pup. say "good hold" let him start to learn the words.
Let him hold it while you tell him how good he is for coming back.
Then take the bumper/bird. If he is clamped right onto it do not pull.
hold pup at collar, toss the bumper in your back pocket at the same time
say your release word. Send pup for next. He will catch on if he lets go of one, he gets to get the next.


.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
pull on the lite rope you have him on and reel him in.
do not worry if he drops the bird, reel him in.
coming to you should be the best thing ever
and if he very much loves birds, he will hang onto them.
I would not use them a lot, at this time. But would use um.



.
Ok, I actually planned on using live birds once a week from here on. Should I introduce the dead birds at this point? I get the bumper idea, but the short clips from Hillmanns Puppy DVD that I have seen show his dogs on live birds at the age of 11 weeks. I don't want to become over zealous in training.

I feel I need to somewhat exploit his abilities. I just don't want to over do it.
 

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They run out and pick up birds from instinct. They bring them back to us because of training. Some people luck out and have pups that willingly bring birds back, including live ones. Most of mine have been of the more thuggish variety that soon realize it's more fun to run off and eat them. At that point, I stop using birds til after formal training. If they like them as pups, they will still like them in a few months.
 

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I think you are doing fine. Barking and running from the bird at first is fairly common. Hank (by Pirate) did that.
Follow what Ken said about not taking the bird from the dog right away.

The only thing I wouldn't do is teach the dog down. I reserve this until much later. I guess I am gunshy about this as I had a client dog with significant down issues on blinds. He would lay down on the whistle. It took a long time to overcome this issue.
The owner would never admit it but I think he taught him down with the ecollar while duck or goose hunting before he brought him to me.

He is awful young yet. Be sure and let him grow up and work on socialization a lot.
 

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Guys,
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this forum!! You rock.

I tried searching for the answer but couldn't really find the answer I needed. I have a 10 week old Male Lab who is a learning freak!! At 7 weeks I had him on Sit and Down (Lie Down) hand signals. Most recently I taught him the "leave it" command utilizing the jackpot treat method. He was introduced to duck wings at 7 weeks as well and goes nuts over them.

I never had to hallway train him on retrieves. He delivers them to hand at any distance, but the "release" command has been a challenge. We are working through that though.

On to my question. I may have jacked up his training a little, but I need you to reassure me that I didn't. I introduced him to Live Pigeons 3 times so far. The 1st time he barked and ran. I thought "Oh $h!t". So I laid off of them for 2 weeks. I recently re-introduced him to them twice (Saturday and Monday). The pup is NUTS over the live birds. Chasing them, pouncing them, picks them up but doesn't retrieve them to me. But from I have read this is OK at 1st. But my real concern is should I have started him on dead birds? I figured the wings might have been the same, I just now fear it may have reverse effects.

I ordered both Smartworks and Hillmanns Puppy DVD's. Should I be in fear?

Thanks all!!
It sounds like you are having a blast, it also sounds like you are trying to do too much too soon. There is no need to rush any of this stuff.

Bert
 

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Guys,
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this forum!! You rock.

I tried searching for the answer but couldn't really find the answer I needed. I have a 10 week old Male Lab who is a learning freak!! At 7 weeks I had him on Sit and Down (Lie Down) hand signals. Most recently I taught him the "leave it" command utilizing the jackpot treat method. He was introduced to duck wings at 7 weeks as well and goes nuts over them.

I never had to hallway train him on retrieves. He delivers them to hand at any distance, but the "release" command has been a challenge. We are working through that though.

On to my question. I may have jacked up his training a little, but I need you to reassure me that I didn't. I introduced him to Live Pigeons 3 times so far. The 1st time he barked and ran. I thought "Oh $h!t". So I laid off of them for 2 weeks. I recently re-introduced him to them twice (Saturday and Monday). The pup is NUTS over the live birds. Chasing them, pouncing them, picks them up but doesn't retrieve them to me. But from I have read this is OK at 1st. But my real concern is should I have started him on dead birds? I figured the wings might have been the same, I just now fear it may have reverse effects.

I ordered both Smartworks and Hillmanns Puppy DVD's. Should I be in fear?
Oh, most definitely! ;)

Hang on tight, keep your "boots in the stirrups" and enjoy the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Once again, I just learned a ton in a little time!! Seriously guys, thank you all so much. I don't know what is more addictive, Waterfowling or Dog Training :D
 

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You have to read your pup. I follow Hillmann's DVD for puppy training and determined that my pup was loosing enthusiasm for retrieving bumpers. Switched to canvas puppy bumpers and retrieving improved for about a week but she started to shut down on yard work. I stopped all yard work for a couple of days and decided to try a dead chucker for retreiving... Wow!!! The light bulb came on. I used a dead chucker once a week for two weeks and then started using rubber bumpers again. Now she retrieves anything I throw. She's a little rocket on dead bird and returns them just as fast. She's a little slower with bumpers but is doing short doubles and short planted dummies. Her yard work is back on schedule too. Again, read you pup and keep things in balance.
 

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There's too much risk to reward for me using live birds that early. I use a freshly killed pigeon once a week then introduce live birds around 5 months with intro to upland work. Ive had good luck thus far doing that. After that just shoot flyers and you'll never have any issues. Good luck
 

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Wait on your Hillman DVD and follow that.
 

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Got to relay a funny story from last year. Not sure if it applies. But here goes: My CHP buddy and his lab Highway were hunting Delavan Refuge here in Cali. I was in the next pond over. He and a friend shot a couple of specks, and sailed them a couple of hundred yards.

A discussion ensued after a second party wanted to claim the birds. Got ugly, according to my buddy. They said these are not your birds, and so on... Well (and by the way, this is not typical in my refuge experience) Highway went over to the bird pile and and fetched one as they were arguing. He has, and has always had lock jaw on birds. I mean pinch the butt lock jaw! GROWL!! He took the bird as they were talking.

So, the guys said okay that one might be yours. And then Highway, stole the second one from the pile. Discussion over! possession 9/10 of the law.

Hardest mouth retriever I have ever seen, but Specks for dinner!


Personally, I think ff will take care of some of your issues, and I would lay off of birds for a while. Blake was not much of a trainer, but I will tell you Highway has never dropped a bird!
 

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If you havent joined a club yet...... do that now. There are few near you with some great folks in them. Let me know if you need help finding one.

Slow down..... and let your pup be a pup..... but it sounds like hes having fun, for sure. Choose a plan and stick to it. Good luck!
 

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It is easy to get excited about the progress a good puppy is making. The hard part is not going too far too fast. It is easy to accept behaviors in a small puppy you wouldn't in a full grown dog. The easiest problem to correct is the one you don't let develop.

Developing patterns of behavior is easy now. Dogs are creatures of habit. Once your dog knows sit, here and heel they are in the top ten percent of dogs you will see in public. Have you ever been at a boat ramp predawn and heard some guy yelling for his dog?

Work on the things you will want your pup to do daily. I always have my dogs sit before I place a food bowl down. Before long they do it automatically. I never let a dog go through a door before a human. My dogs always wait to be released to go through the door. This includes exiting their crates. Think of other things that you do or don't want your dog to do and start developing those behaviors now.

Here is an example of how ingrained these behaviors can become in a good dog. When I lived in town I would always have my dog sit before we would cross a street, every time! One time my parents were watching him and took him for a walk. the only complaint they had was that he would sit at every crosswalk, even when they had the right of way.

Have fun with your pup,

Tom
 
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